Always look forward; never look back. Fine sentiments to live your life by. Until you get on a bloody escalator.
No one save the most psychopathic of individuals would ever dream of slamming on the brakes in the middle of a busy carriageway, yet there’s a certain type of person – let’s call them ‘fuckwits’ – that think nothing of causing a major pile up of pedestrians at the top or bottom of an escalator.
It’s a slapstick cliché whose continual survival beggars belief. Do these same people check their watch whilst holding a hot beverage? Or turn around when balancing a long plank upon their shoulder? Despite the fact that it is basically impossible to lose your footing upon a discarded banana skin, I bet they even manage to accomplish this on an almost daily basis.
I understand the thought process: “I’ve arrived at a new part of the station or building; I’m momentarily disorientated; I’m not sure in which direction to go.” These are perfectly reasonable things to get sorted in your head as you continue your journey, but for Christ’s sake stand to one side whilst processing! We’ve got nowhere else to go, you see? The escalator – you remember the escalator, it’s that thing you were just travelling on – carries us indefatigably towards the space you are currently occupying. We also can’t go backwards; there’s either a person in the way or we end up moonwalking on the spot merely delaying the inevitable collision with your unyielding, stationary arse.
So do us a favour – make those split-second decisions about your ambulant trajectory on the fly. You can always change direction if your initial instinct proves inaccurate (but please check behind before you do).